Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

The necessity of management in a lake of the Atlantic Forest biodiversity hotspot: nitrogen levels connected to a persistent bloom of Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii.

Abstract

Conservational studies of the threatened Atlantic Forest biome are frequently restricted to terrestrial ecosystems. We know little about the water bodies, specially considering that this biome covers the third largest system of lakes in Brazil. Some of these lakes are located inside the protected "Rio Doce State Park", but many others are found outside this reserve. These external lakes are seldom studied, but understanding their response to human activities is essential for the conservation and the protection of the lakes inside the Park. We evaluated the effects of degradation in a lake outside the Park, which shows a constant bloom of the toxic invasive cyanobacteria Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii. Phytoplankton, climate and physico-chemical variables were assessed from 2011 to 2013 to evaluate which were the major determinants of the lake dynamics. Despite the seasonal changes, the lake was always eutrophic, and cyanobacteria, transparency and nutrients were the major indicators of water characteristics. The lake seems to be nitrogen-limited and cyanobacteria were negatively correlated with nitrogen levels, since the constantly dominant C. raciborskii is a superior competitor for N. We suggest that the monitoring of nitrogen levels is fundamental to establish management strategies to avoid harmful algae blooms in this Atlantic Forest lake.